POLICIES, RULES, WAIVERS & FAQ
Please see below our general course rules for all ages. Scroll down for our COVID policy document, Air Quality Document, Cancellation Policy, FAQ, Waivers, and gear list for Teen Backpack.
NIGHTHAWK RULES OF RESPECT
All participants of our programs are familiar with these rules. They are taught and required of all youth participants and implicated and/or taught to all adult program participants.
This includes taking care of your self by drinking water, eating when needed, and wearing clothing appropriate for the weather. Instructors give reminders of these for younger participants and, upon request, may have borrowing library resources for forgotten or needed supplies.
Stay together. Groups of at least 3 for youth. For safety purposes, youth students must be able to stay within line of sight/sound from their group. If youth students need space, they must communicate with an instructor and/or be able to remove themself to a safe (away from roads, fast water, etc.) place within eyesight of the group.
RESPECT EACH OTHER
Keep each others' bodies and feelings safe. This includes listening to others when they're speaking, helping a friend who might need help, and no inappropriate physical contact.
Follow safety rules provided by instructors when using special equipment (carving knives, archery gear, etc.) or traveling in certain areas (bodies of water, trees/climbing, etc.).
RESPECT THE NATURAL WORLD
Respect plants and wildlife. Follow instructor and public land guidelines for plant use, fire safety, and natural resource use. Follow the public rules for the type of land we are on that day. Leave a place better than you found it.
By registering yourself, a child, or gifting a program to a friend, you are passing these responsibilities to the participant. We start each program by clearly establishing these guidelines with our clients. While all humans are around because of their ancestors' connection to nature and nature is genuinely therapeutic and transformative for many, Nighthawk's programs are not designed to address or rectify behavior or emotional issues. If, given reasonable modification and accommodations, a participant repetitively shirks these rules, alternative options--including potential removal from the program--will be discussed.
We can guarantee credit for future programming for cancellations on behalf of the customer up to 2 weeks in advance of programming. We appreciate 2 weeks notice whenever possible, as this amount of time sometimes gives the opportunity for other families to plan to attend. Less notice often prevents this opportunity.
We cannot guarantee any refunds. They are not typical and fully depend on the amount of notice given and whether that spot can be filled.
If we cancel an entire program, you'll be credited or refunded, situation depending, if rescheduling isn't possible. If we have late start, early pickup, or partial course cancellation due to air quality or weather, we do not offer credit or refund.
WHERE WILL PROGRAMS BE HELD?
Our locations will change from time to time depending on the activities we're doing, but we will primarily be at Bend city parks, Tumalo State Park, nearby BLM land, and occasionally land further away in the vicinity of Sunriver or Sisters, for certain camps and Adult classes. We operate under Special Use Permits with various land agencies. We will give plenty of advance notice for class locations for those who are enrolled. Please check your email a couple weeks before your program, allow nighthawknaturalistschool.com in your email address book, and check your Spam folder just in case.
IS YOUR HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM PROVIDED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION OR ASSOCIATION?
No. This program is an alternative educational program designed for families who want an ecology and/or wilderness skills addition to their home curriculum, free school lifestyle, unschooling, charter, or other plan. It is provided in the style of a decidedly non-campy, and more educational outdoor "camp" whose goal is deep, life-long nature connection. We are willing to submit approval as a vendor for your charter school upon request, but do not guarantee your schools' approval.
ARE YOU A WILDERNESS THERAPY ORGANIZATION?
No. Many people find experiences in nature to be therapeutic or transformative. However, our programs are not designed to address or rectify behavior, any physical or medical ailment, or emotional issues. We do not discriminate against protected classes or individuals. If, given reasonable modifications and accommodations, participants repetitively violate Nighthawk's safety rules, alternative options, including removal from the program, may need to be discussed.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT?
Small classes, 5:1 student teacher ratio for youth classes. Hands-on survival and ecology practice. Knowledgable and experienced instructors. All-outdoor experiences. Bend is full of outdoor recreation experiences. We go beyond this. When you are truly connected and develop an ecological identity, wherever you are, you're no longer surviving. You are simply being.